19 May 2020

Samoan sailors call for immediate repatriation

7:16 am on 19 May 2020

Twelve Samoan sailors stranded in the Caribbean are calling for immediate repatriation.

One of the mariners, on board the cruise-ship MSC Armonia, said only three of them are working while the remaining nine have been furloughed due to Covid-19.

Taulapapa Pa'o said the nine have not been paid since being stood down in early April.

Taulapapa said they are calling on Samoa Shipping Services to work with the Mediterranean Shipping Company to bring them home.

Taulapapa said he was concerned about post-traumatic-stress due to being locked onboard with no work, but only eat and sleep.

"We are home sick and wanting to see our families especially our wives and children," Taulapapa said via Facebook messenger.

Meanwhile, the first charter flight to repatriate some of the more than 900 Samoan citizens stranded overseas is scheduled for this Friday.

The flight is reported to carry 150 passengers from New Zealand who will then spend 14 days in quarantine in Samoa.

The next flight will be confirmed pending coronavirus health checks for the first repatriated passengers.